The early years of your child’s life are crucial. When well nurtured and cared for in their earliest years, children are more likely to survive and grow in a healthy way, to have less disease and/or illnesses, and develop thinking, language, emotional and social skills. Socialization is a learning process that begins immediately after birth. Your child’s early years are the most intense and the most critical of their life for socialization. During the early childhood years, your child will obtain and learn the fundamentals of his or her culture. During this time in your children’s life, they also form their personality. Socialization continues throughout our lifetime. We have many experiences throughout our life that teach us lessons and can change our outlook, beliefs and personality. However, educators and sociologists seem to agree that socialization of the child determines how they relate to life as an adult. Society often dictates expectations. Teachers and parents working together as a team can help children reach higher standards of socialization. If you choose not to place your children in childcare or a preschool setting, it is of utmost importance that you get them involved in other aspects of a social environment, to allow them to grow and develop. A few recommendations might include playgroups, sports, Sunday school, dance or other child-friendly activities. Many of the museums and zoos offer special activity classes for children as well as summer camps that are typically fun and educational as well.